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Victorian Government package welcomed by welfare agency

The $30 million package to help combat family violence will be a potential life-saver says Shepparton's FamilyCare chief executive David Tennant.

JOHN LEWIS June 2, 2014 11:45am

A $30million Victorian Government package to help combat family violence has been welcomed as a potential life-saver by a key Shepparton-based welfare agency.

The government funding, announced on Friday, is aimed at expanding its Strengthening Risk Management program to streamline links between police, courts, and family welfare groups.

Shepparton’s FamilyCare chief executive David Tennant said any money aimed at strengthening links between services was vital.

‘‘If you don’t have reliable links, then vulnerable people can suffer. People have died because of this,’’ Mr Tennant said.

Premier Dennis Napthine said the four-year funding package would help fast-track police reports and referrals in family violence cases; expand case management support for women and children fleeing violence; and evaluate family violence initiatives, such as perpetrator interventions, to ensure their effectiveness.

Mr Napthine described family violence as ‘‘a modern scourge of our society’’.

He said people could no longer turn a blind eye to what might happen behind closed doors.

‘‘As a community, we must make sure we bring this issue into the spotlight and address it head-on,’’ he said.

Mr Tennant said the future would tell whether the government’s response was adequate.

‘‘Making sure police, welfare services and other groups are talking to each other is a great principle,’’ he said.

‘‘Congratulations to the government. But whether it’s enough, we just can’t tell yet.’’

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